General Secretary of the Communist Party of China

The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (Chinese: 中国共产党中央委员会总书记) is head of the Communist Party of China and the highest-ranking official within the People's Republic of China.[3] The General Secretary is a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat. The officeholder is usually considered the "paramount leader" of China.[4]

According to the Constitution, the General Secretary serves as an ex officio member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China's de facto top decision-making body.[5] Since 1989, the holder of the post has been, except for transitional periods, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, making the holder the Supreme Military Command of the People's Liberation Army.[note 1] The General Secretary is nominally elected by the Central Committee. In practice, the de facto method of selecting the General Secretary has varied over time. The two most recent General Secretaries, Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping, were first elevated to the position of First Secretary of the Secretariat in the same process used to select the membership and roles of the Politburo Standing Committee. Under this informal process, the First Secretary would succeed the retiring General Secretary as part of a generational leadership transition.

The current General Secretary is Xi Jinping, who took office on 15 November 2012 and was re-elected on 25 October 2017. Afterwards, he was given the ability to have no limit to the amount of terms as a General Secretary.[note 2]

General Secretary of the
Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China
Emblem of the Communist Party of China
Flag of the Chinese Communist Party
Flag of the Communist Party of China
Xi Jinping March 2017
Xi Jinping

since 15 November 2012
Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
TypeParty leader, Paramount leader
Reports toNational Congress of the Communist Party of China
SeatQinzheng Hall, Zhongnanhai, Beijing[1][2]
NominatorCentral Committee of the Communist Party of China
AppointerCentral Committee of the Communist Party of China
Term lengthRenewable every five years, no term limit for the entire life
Constituting instrumentConstitution of the Communist Party of China
Inaugural holderChen Duxiu (1925)
Hu Yaobang (1982)
FormationJanuary 1925
September 1982
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
Simplified Chinese中国共产党中央委员会总书记
Traditional Chinese中國共產黨中央委員會總書記
Commonly abbreviated as
Simplified Chinese中共中央总书记
Traditional Chinese中共中央總書記

Powers and position

Since the abolition of the post of Chairman of the Communist Party of China by the 12th Central Committee in 1982, the General Secretary has been the highest-ranking official of the party and heads the Central Secretariat, Political Bureau and its Standing Committee.[7]

Since its revival in 1982, the post of General Secretary has been a de jure government position, the most important post in the PRC, though it did not become the de facto most important post until Deng Xiaoping's retirement in 1990. As China is a de facto one-party state, the General Secretary holds ultimate power and authority over state and government. However, most of the people who have held the post have held far less power than Chairman Mao Zedong. Since the mid-1990s, the General Secretary has traditionally also held the post of President of the PRC. While the presidency is nominally a ceremonial post, it is customary for the General Secretary to assume the presidency to confirm his status as de jure head of state.

Since Xi Jinping's ascendance to power, two new bodies of the Communist Party, the National Security Commission and Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms, have been established, ostensibly concentrating political power in the "paramount leader" to a greater degree than anyone since Mao.[8] These bodies were tasked with establishing the general policy direction for national security as well as the agenda for economic reform. Both groups are headed by the General Secretary, thus the power of the General Secretary has become more concentrated.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Xi Jinping, 59, was named general secretary of the 82-million-member Communist Party and is set to take over the presidency, a mostly ceremonial post, from Hu Jintao in March.[6]
  2. ^ "Xi's here to stay: China leader tipped to outstay term". Daily Mail. 9 August 2016. "A lot of analysts now see it as a given" that Xi will seek to stay party general secretary, the country's most powerful post, said Christopher K. Johnson, a former CIA analyst and now China specialist at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.



  1. ^ "文革后的中南海:中央办事效率最高的时期". Comsenz Inc. Retrieved 7 February 2018..
  2. ^ Li, Xiaoqing (10 June 2015). "卓琳以死相逼之前 曾被江泽民一度糊弄". Epoch USA, Inc. The Epoch Times. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  3. ^ Chris Buckley and Adam Wu (10 March 2018). "Ending Term Limits for China's Xi Is a Big Deal. Here's Why. - Is the presidency powerful in China?". New York Times. In China, the political job that matters most is the general secretary of the Communist Party. The party controls the military and domestic security forces, and sets the policies that the government carries out. China’s presidency lacks the authority of the American and French presidencies.
  4. ^ "China's 'Chairman of Everything': Behind Xi Jinping's Many Titles". The New York Times. 25 October 2017. Mr. Xi’s most important title is general secretary, the most powerful position in the Communist Party. In China’s one-party system, this ranking gives him virtually unchecked authority over the government.
  5. ^ Chapter III Central Organizations of the Party - Article 22
  6. ^ Who’s Who in China’s New Communist Party Leadership Lineup - Bloomberg
  7. ^
  8. ^ 习近平频现身成常态 将回归"领导核心"?. Duowei News. 7 January 2014.
  9. ^ "How the Chinese government works". South China Morning Post. Xi Jinping is the most powerful figure in China's political system, and his influence mainly comes from his position as the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.


  • China Online Encyclopedia
2015 Xi–Chu meeting

On May 4, 2015, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Xi Jinping and Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu met in Beijing.

Chairman of the Central Military Commission

The Chairman of the Central Military Commission (Chinese: 中央军事委员会主席) is the head of the Central Military Commission of China (CMC) and thereby the commander-in-chief of the People's Liberation Army. The officeholder is usually General Secretary of the Communist Party of China or Chairman of the Communist Party of China.

According to Chapter 3, Section 4 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, "The Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China directs the armed forces of the country. The Central Military Commission is composed of the following: The Chairman; The Vice-Chairmen; and Members". The term of office of the Central Military Commission is the same as that of the National People's Congress. Two people currently serve as Vice-Chairmen.

The CMC Chairman is the supreme commander of the world's largest military forces, People's Liberation Army, People's Armed Police and People's Liberation Army militia. Furthermore, the officeholder is vested with the command authority over the nuclear arsenals.

According to the principle of "Party Commands the Gun", the officeholder of this post would also assume the responsibility of the state counterpart.

Confidence doctrine

The Confidence Doctrine (Chinese: 自信论) is a signature political philosophy of Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. It calls for Communist Party members, government officials, and the Chinese people to be "confident in our chosen path, confident in our political system, and confident in our guiding theories." Initially, the doctrine was termed the Three Confidences (三个自信), although Xi Jinping seems to have injected a 'fourth' confidence, "confidence in our culture," into the mix in December 2014. Along with the Four Comprehensives and the Chinese Dream, it has, since 2013, become a central theme in political slogans of the Communist Party of China, often recited at official meetings, conferences, and by state-owned media.

The doctrine was first discussed at the 18th Party Congress held in November 2012 in a speech by then party General Secretary Hu Jintao. The origin of the theory is said to be Yi Junqing, an official later disgraced for corruption who served as the head of the Compilation and Translation Bureau.According to several portraits of Xi by both domestic and foreign observers, Xi Jinping has a deeply held belief that the Communist Party and the institutions it has created is the best institution to govern China and the best institution to guide China's development. Throughout the period that the Communist Party was the ruling party of China, the party has constantly faced challenges and doubts, both domestically and internationally, about its continuing legitimacy to govern, and pressures for political reform. While the Communist Party has long criticized "western-style democracy and separation of powers" as unsuitable for the Chinese environment, the Confidence Doctrine introduces a novel approach to the issue by emphasizing self-confidence over the criticism of external forces.

Ding Xuexiang

Ding Xuexiang (Chinese: 丁薛祥; born September 1962) is an important political aide of Xi Jinping, current General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. Ding is the current director of the General Office of the Communist Party of China. Ding served on Xi's staff beginning in Shanghai, then followed him to Beijing. He is also a member of the 19th Party Politburo, and a Secretary of the Party Secretariat.

Forbes list of The World's Most Powerful People

Since 2009, the business magazine, Forbes had compiled an annual list of the world's most powerful people. The list has one slot for every 100 million people, meaning in 2009 there were 67 people on the list and by 2018 there were 75. Slots are allocated based on the amount of human and financial resources that they have sway over, as well as their influence on world events.

Four Comprehensives

The Four Comprehensives, or the Four-pronged Comprehensive Strategy (Chinese: 四个全面战略布局) is a list of political goals for China, put forward by Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in 2014. They are:

Comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society

Comprehensively deepen reform

Comprehensively govern the nation according to law

Comprehensively strictly govern the Party.Some scholars argue that as a matter of fact, there are exactly the same or very similar statements of the “four comprehensives” in Deng Xiaoping Theory. Comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society (Xiaokang society)

The term "moderately prosperous society" dated back to 1979, when Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping said to visiting Japanese Prime Minister Masayoshi Ōhira that "Xiaokang society was the goal of Chinese modernization".In 1997, the term "building a moderately prosperous society" was officially adopted in General Secretary Jiang Zemin's report to the 15th CPC National Congress. In 2002, the term was changed to "comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society" in the report to the 16th CPC National Congress. In 2012, "Completing the Building of a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects" was first introduced in Hu Jintao's report to the 18th CPC National Congress.

Fuping County, Shaanxi

Fuping County (Chinese: 富平县; pinyin: Fùpíng Xiàn) is a county located in the center of Shaanxi Province, China. It is the westernmost county-level division of the prefecture-level city of Weinan.

The Fuping County has an area of 1,233 km2 (476 sq mi) and a population of 750,000. Its postal code is 711700.

It comprises 24 towns, 337 administrative villages.

Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, traces his ancestry here. His father, former Vice-Premier Xi Zhongxun was from here.

General Secretary Xi Jinping important speech series

General Secretary Xi Jinping important speech series is a book of statements from speeches by Xi Jinping, the current General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, published in 2014 and 2016 and widely distributed during Xi's administration. The book was originally compiled by Party's Publicity Department and published by official People's Publishing House and Study Publishing House. The Party's Organization Department has ordered Communist cadres and university students to study the book and learn "the spirit of the General Secretary's speeches."

Liu Yongqing

Liu Yongqing (born 3 October 1940), is the wife of Hu Jintao, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of the People’s Republic of China.

Traditionally, Liu Yongqing’s role would be primarily domestic, but this is fast changing as Chinese leaders travel abroad more. Liu had often accompanied her husband on his official trips to foreign countries and has made personal appearances at charities and cultural institutions all over the world.

Moderately prosperous society

Moderately prosperous society (Chinese: 小康社会; pinyin: xiǎokāngshèhuì) is a Chinese term, originally of Confucianism, used to describe a society composed of a functional middle-class. The term is best known in recent years through its use by Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China between 2002 and 2012, when referring to economic policies intended to realize a more equal distribution of wealth.

In the usages (tifa) of current General Secretary Xi Jinping, the term "Chinese Dream" has gained somewhat greater prominence. During the annual National Party Congress meeting of 2015, Xi unveiled a set of political slogans called the Four Comprehensives, which include "Comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society."

Qi Xin

Qi Xin (Chinese: 齐心; born November 1926) is a Communist Party of China member who has written various articles on her husband Xi Zhongxun and is mother to Xi Jinping, current General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (paramount leader).

Rhyzodiastes xii

Rhyzodiastes xii, known alternatively as the Daddy Xi beetle, is a species of ground beetle that attracted media attention in 2016, when an entomologist named it after the paramount leader of China, Xi Jinping, who is the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.

Shanghai clique

The Shanghai clique (simplified Chinese: 上海帮; traditional Chinese: 上海幫; pinyin: Shànghǎi bāng) is the name given to an informal group of officials in the Communist Party of China, especially those who serve in the Central Committee or the Central Government of China, who rose to prominence in connection to the Shanghai municipal administration under Jiang Zemin, former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.

This phrase was used somewhat pejoratively to describe Jiang's efforts to promote people who previously worked, or were associated with, his administration in Shanghai. However, none of the "Shanghai clique" members are originally from Shanghai, rather, the city is where they reached political prominence. It is more appropriately referred to as the "Jiang clique".Members of the Shanghai clique are marked by their tendency to represent urban business interests of the coastal regions, many of them princelings, the children of revolutionary veterans, and their expertise in commercial affairs.

The Governance of China

The Governance of China is a Chinese political book in two volumes written by Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China and current president of the People's Republic of China. The first volume was published in 2014, and the second volume was published in 2017. The work is a collection of several dozen speeches and writings by Xi on a variety of topics, which present an official party line for China's development in the 21st century. In these respects, Governance of China is a literary successor to Mao Zedong's Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung.

Toilet Revolution in China

Toilet Revolution (simplified Chinese: 厕所革命; traditional Chinese: 廁所革命; pinyin: Cèsuǒ Gémìng; literally: 'lavatory-place transform-mandate') is a government campaign aimed at improving the sanitary conditions in Mainland China. In 2015, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, announced that China is going to improve the sanitary conditions of public toilets in tourist attractions, about which foreign travelers have long complained. The "Toilet revolution" entry in the State Council Information Office's 2015 "Dictionary of Xi Jinping's new terms" explains the campaign, "Along with agricultural modernization and new rural construction, local governments will ensure that villagers have access to hygienic toilets."From 2015 to 2017, over 68,000 public toilets were constructed in China. In 2017, construction of an additional 64,000 public toilets was planned. In the same year, the campaign was geographically expanded, and authorities are going to improve the poor sanitary conditions in rural areas of China. State Media reported that the unsanitary conditions in rural toilets can result in spreading diseases like malaria and the campaign aims at solving such problems.

Wang Yeping

Wang Yeping (Chinese: 王冶坪; pinyin: Wáng Yěpíng, born February 12, 1928) is the wife of Jiang Zemin, former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (de facto paramount leader) and President of the People's Republic of China (de jure head of state), and is a native of Yangzhou, Jiangsu.

Xi Jinping Core Administration

The Xi Jinping Core Administration (Chinese: 习近平核心体制) of the People's Republic of China has been said to begin after the progressive accumulation of power by Xi Jinping, who has succeeded Hu Jintao to be the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China since 2012.

Zhang Wenkang

Zhang Wenkang(born 1940 in Nanhui, Shanghai) was the health minister of China during the SARS outbreak who was sacked for mishandling the matter.Zhang was a supporter of Jiang Zemin, former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. After he was fired, he was placed in various ceremonial positions.

Zhong Shaojun

Zhong Shaojun (Chinese: 钟绍军; born c. 1968) is a long-time political aide of Xi Jinping, currently the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission. Zhong served on Xi's staff beginning in Zhejiang province, then followed him to Shanghai, and then Beijing. Zhong currently serves as director of Xi Jinping Office and the deputy director of the General Office. He holds the military rank of senior colonel.

Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinZhōngguó Gòngchǎndǎng Zhōngyāng Wěiyuánhuì Zǒngshūjì
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinZhōnggòng Zhōngyāng Zǒngshūjì
Major organs
Leading Groups
United Front
State organs
Politics of

(current leaders)


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